Recent Publications - Jonathan B. Bruno


U.S. District Court: Judiciary Law Claim Permissible without Criminal Conviction
May 7, 2018 | Jonathan B. Bruno | Deborah M. Isaacson | Professional Liability
The United States District Court, Western District of New York recently held that the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to state a claim pursuant to Judiciary Law § 487, and the fact that there was no criminal conviction of the defendant lawyers for violating the statute did not prevent plaintiff from proceeding with her claim. In …
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Use Retainer Agreements to Establish the Limits of Representation
January 23, 2018 | Jonathan B. Bruno | Deborah M. Isaacson | Professional Liability
The Appellate Division, First Department recently reversed the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment on liability in favor of the legal malpractice plaintiff and dismissing the defendant law firm’s counterclaims for legal fees. In Genesis Merchant Partners, L.P. v. Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane, LLC, the plaintiffs, who are related venture capital firms, sued the …
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Appellate Decision Underscores Lawyers’ Duty to Fulfill Retainer Agreement’s Obligations
January 11, 2018 | Jonathan B. Bruno | Deborah M. Isaacson | Professional Liability
The Appellate Division, First Department recently held that a legal malpractice action could withstand a law firm’s motion to dismiss the claim on the grounds that plaintiff failed to plead the “but for” causation element of the claim, reversing the trial court’s dismissal. In Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. v. Morrison & Foerster LLP, Supreme Court, …
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Broad Language in Retainer Agreement Allows Legal Malpractice Claim to Proceed Against Law Firm
October 2, 2017 | Jonathan B. Bruno | Deborah M. Isaacson | Professional Liability
The United States District Court, Southern District of New York recently held that a legal malpractice action could withstand a law firm’s motion to dismiss when the law firm’s retainer agreement was broadly written and did not clearly define the scope of the firm’s representation. In Mitchell Barack v. Seward & Kissel, LLP, (Civil Action …
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Notice Of Termination Constitutes “Adverse Employment Action” Even If the Employee is Never Actually Terminated
August 14, 2017 | Jonathan B. Bruno | Anna Mandel
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has recently held that notice to an employee that she will be terminated is sufficient to form the basis of a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) claim against the employer even if …
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Is An Attorney’s Misdemeanor Conviction A Prerequisite To New York Judiciary Law § 487 Claims?
June 2, 2017 | Jonathan B. Bruno | Anna Mandel | Professional Liability
United States Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York recently held, in a report and recommendation, that a plaintiff must plead that an attorney has been convicted of a misdemeanor before she can state a claim for the recovery of treble damages pursuant to …
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Bruno Authors USLAW Magazine Article
March 30, 2017 | Professional Liability
Jonathan Bruno’s article, “Independent Counsel Law in Three Key Jurisdictions,” appeared in the Spring/Summer issue of USLAW Magazine. To read the full article, click here. …
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New York’s Borrowing Statute May Be Used As An Affirmative Defense To Legal Malpractice
November 8, 2016 | Professional Liability
The New York Supreme Court, New York County (Justice Ostrager), recently issued a decision, Centre Lane Partners, LLC et al. v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP et al., addressing New York’s borrowing statute in the context of legal malpractice claims. New York’s borrowing statute, CPLR 202, provides that: an action based upon a …
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Equitable Recoupment: A Shield To Attorneys’ Recovery Of Legal Fees
August 9, 2016 | Professional Liability
The Appellate Division, Second Department, recently issued a decision, Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP v. Law Firm of Howard Mann, addressing the concept of equitable recoupment in the context of attorneys’ actions for legal fees against former clients. Pursuant to a written retainer agreement, Howard Mann of the Law Firm of Howard Mann retained …
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